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E-cigarette Use Among Teens Cause for Concern County Coalition Forming Action Committee to Address Youth Tobacco Use
Jefferson County—Jefferson County Public Health and the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance are concerned about the recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showing that E-cigarette use among U.S. middle and high school students has more than doubled between 2011 and 2012. The data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey was released Thursday, September 5, 2013 by the CDC and shows not only that more high school students are using e-cigarettes but that 76.3 percent of those who used e cigarettes within the past 30 days also smoked conventional cigarettes in the same period. The study also shows that 1 in 5 middle school students who reported using e-cigarettes also reported never trying conventional cigarettes. The Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance is organizing a Youth Tobacco Prevention Action Committee to address e-cigarettes and other ways that the tobacco industry is targeting kids in Jefferson County communities.
“I have a growing concern about the ways our kids are being targeted and the potential impact on their health and well-being,” says Sarah Davis, Alliance member and Jefferson County parent. “Nicotine is a very addictive product and youth who try E-cigarettes may not realize just how addictive the nicotine they are getting through the vapor is.”
Nicotine vaporizing devices, which include e-cigarettes and electronic hookah pens contain nicotine and other dangerous chemicals. They also frequently come in kid-friendly flavors like cherry, mocha latte, and berry. E-cigarettes and other devices which use a similar mechanism to ingest tobacco and marijuana by vapor are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not approved as cessation aids. The tobacco industry is now marketing e-cigarettes on television, contributing to their appeal.
“The tobacco industry is continuing its long history of targeting children. We hope others who are concerned will join the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Alliance to help us stand between the tobacco industry and our kids” says Bob Doyle of the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance.
According to the CDC, Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, responsible for an estimated 443,000 deaths each year. And, for every one death, there are 20 people living with a smoking related disease.
Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative works with the Alliance to educate teens, parents, schools and the community about the harms of tobacco and to prevent youth initiation. We urge everyone to learn more and become involved where they can. One way for youth to be involved is by joining a local Breath Easy (BE) Team. BE teams work in the schools and have made significant gains in shaping tobacco free norms and decreasing youth access to tobacco products in Jefferson County.
September 6, 2013
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